Christmas – 1990

Well, here it is again. It is hard to believe we are about to finish up our fifth year in Virginia. Now however, we are Virginians, and we always say things with a smile. Warm (literal and personal) Seasons greetings from the horse country of Northern Virginia. We hope the season finds you well and happy. It has been an interesting year to say the least. Lets share a few items and observations that failed to make the paper or Dan Rathers 6:00 pm news.

Well to begin with, lets take from whence I write this letter. It started with Bruce and Pam, and it’s really all their fault. In the fall of ’89 they paid their usual visit, and brought along Alyssa (from Karen and Barry). In anticipation of the visit, Joyce made the comment to no one in particular, “suppose it rains?” Bob’s immediate reaction: “woman, bite your tongue”! I love those kids, but a week of rain! We both decided that at least a throw rug in the basement would be nice, just in case. Well of course, then came the walls a ceiling. After a year now, we have added another room, Bob’s study, a bathroom (with a blessed deep sink) and work rooms for each of us. The highlight: the laying of vinyl flooring throughout the work area, where Bob became almost part of the mosaic. Picture this: with the flooring rolled up in the middle of the floor, Bob pasting and Joyce rolling (in all senses of the word) and the apparitions that emerged were likened to vertical pieces of fly paper with legs, and dispositions to match.

The year peaked in April when Diane (Kansas Wheat and three boys) showed up at Karen’s in Atlanta. With her three and Karen’s three, the trip to the petting zoo was enough to invoke a citation from the animal rights folks. Which reminds us, Karen has two kittens, we think. They are totally out of sight during all and any of Jonathan’s waking hours. With George, KRO and Whiskey (the dog—please!) in tow, we ended up at Pam and Bruce’s on the weekend. What a weekend that was! Smoked turkey and associated groceries and goodies, and some fantastic Frisbee Golf. Those guys are something else. The 18th hole was from the dock to the spillway in the lake. That in itself was not a problem, but the dogs, Pam and Bruce’s Katy, and Whiskey are both Frisbee freaks. The battle “ole Dad” had with Whiskey for the Frisbee, was reminiscent of gator “wrasslin” at Ross Allen’s in Silver Springs, FL.

The two of us went to Albuquerque this year, and that was an interesting trip, especially that gash in the Earth surface otherwise known as Rio Grande Gorge; 600 feet across and 1,000 feet down. The desert environment is fun to visit, and we did spend a day in Bandelier (near Los Alamos), the site of ancient cliff dwelling Indians. We actually climbed up 160 feet to the ceremonial cave. We did OK, but some folks got up there and literally “freaked out”. A young fellow with us had to help one lady all the way to the bottom (five steep ladders). Boy, in those days it didn’t pay to leave you wallet on the dresser.

Just before Thanksgiving, timing was such that Bob’s brother Dick, his wife Sela and son Kirt, met us in Baltimore for a visit with the Harper clan. We hadn’t seen them all in one place for years. Esther and Paul are active as can be and enjoy their walks, one of which they shared with us. There is no way to really describe this benign walk, other than to say: next time we bring our rappelling gear. With Esther’s fabulous crab cakes for lunch, and a superb dinner with all the family, it was a good time and great fellowship. Dick, Sela, and Kirt returned with us to Herndon. It was Dick and Sela’s first visit to our pad. All in all it was a special weekend for us.

That does it for this year. Hope 1991 is as exciting for you as we expect it to be for us


Joyce and Bob